The Congress hit out at Union home minister Rajnath Singh's 'Hindu terror' jibe on Saturday, saying the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) was trying to rake up the issue with a divisive agenda.
The Congress' rebuttal came in the wake of Singh accusing the previous UPA government of weakening the fight against terrorism by using the phrase “Hindu terror”. The term, Singh said, was coined by former home minister (Sushil Kumar Shinde) in 2013.
"The comment of the then home minister (Shinde) is being quoted out of context. It is a deliberate attempt on the part of the government, it is the deliberate attempt on the part of the BJP for various reasons -- to divide the country, to stir debate between two religions," Congress leader Ghulam Nabi Azad told the media on Saturday.
"The Congress party has always been against terrorism -- be it in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab, north eastern states or in the states sharing borders with our neighbours. We have seen Indira Gandhi martyred...We have seen the death of ex-prime minister Rajiv Gandhi...BJP does not need to lecture us."
The former minister of health and family welfare added: "I would like to say that since this BJP government has come to power, there is so much polarisation in the country."
Responding to Azad, BJP leader Sambit Patra said home minister Singh had shown the Congress a mirror, adding the Congress had always politicised terrorism.
"When the then home minister Sushil Kumar Shinde...coined the term 'Hindu terror', he received congratulatory note from (LeT founder) Hafiz Saeed."
Communications and IT minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too took a dig at the Congress party. "Does she (Congress president Sonia Gandhi) approve of whole label of Hindu terror?" he asked.
In Parliament on Friday, Singh had also said Saeed had lauded the then government led by the government for the 'Hindu terror' stand.
He had also underlined the Congress’ alleged blunders recalling the India-Pak joint statement at Sharm-el Sheikh in Egypt which mentioned the Balochistan issue and the talks in Cuban capital Havana where both nations agreed on a joint anti-terror mechanism which eventually failed to take off.